There's a new microbrewery coming to Torrington on Water Street.

Breweries have become the hot place to be seen in our area, now there's a new one opening up in the old Torrington firehouse.

The transformation is almost complete as the historical building on Water Street is being renovated and will soon be called 'Bad Dog Brewery'.

It's a labor of love for Matt Tkac of Bristol who signed a lease back in May of 2019, and has since been working on renovating the large space. There's 6,700 square feet on the first floor and about 5,000 square feet on the second floor, plus the building has a huge basement as well.

The owner of the property, JR Laliberte, who's already sunk close to $800,000 into renovating the building, told that he was worried about finding a tenant since the space is so large, and the rent and overhead would be quite expensive, but was very pleased that they could work out a deal to open a brewery.

The new tenant, Matt Tkac, is making it a family affair with his wife, Michele, and his kids Chris and Emily, all part of the day to day operations. Bad Dog Brewery is set to open within the next few weeks, and Matt told that there's a few more things that have to be complete first.

Our liquor permit has to be approved, and we’ve got other permits that are almost ready. We’ve got to make sure all that gets done. Every date I’ve set so far has been wrong, but the electricians are there, working six days a week, the plumbers are there. It’s all coming together. We’ll open in four weeks, hopefully sooner.

Patrons of the new brewery can expect the building's interior to maintain much of the history that the fire department represented through the years.

We were able to keep a lot of stuff that was left in the building. We were working with the Fire Department and the historical society, and we went over everything with them. We have a lot of cool pieces, from the 1800s to the 1950s and 1960s, including the fire truck, a 1939 model, and we just spent a day or so washing it and waxing it. It’s beautiful. We saved everything we could — old floorboard's were made into tables, beams became bar tops, things like that. It’s been completely redone. It’s a tough old building, and it fought us on a bunch of things. But as good as the outside looks, the inside has been completely transformed.

For more information about the new 'Bad Dog Brewery' check out their website at

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